Read an excerpt of her WSJ interview and see her gorgeous photo spread below...
WSJ. Magazine May 2015 PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELO PENNETTA
FOR WSJ. MAGAZINE, STYLING BY ELISSA SANTISI
How Carey Mulligan Went From Ingénue to Hollywood Icon
CAREY MULLIGAN has a new tattoo. The phrase inked on the inside of her right wrist is so tiny I have to lean in to read it as she sits across from me in the airy lobby of the Crosby Street Hotel in lower Manhattan. It’s early morning, but Mulligan, 29, has already been up for hours; she’s still on London time after having just flown here for the Broadway run of David Hare’s Skylight. She apologizes for not eating anything—when her jet lag woke her at dawn, she ravenously ate breakfast. By the time we sit down, all she’s in the mood for is some Earl Grey tea, served the proper British way, with milk and one lump of sugar.
Mulligan broke a second rule, this one more recent, when she took the role: No more costume dramas, at least not for a while. This month, her new film, Thomas Vinterberg’s sweeping adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, sees her galloping over the Dorset hills in sumptuous bodices from the 1870s. It’s the latest in a series of period pieces on her résumé, beginning with her first film, 2005’s Pride & Prejudice, and including her star-making performance as a ’60s schoolgirl in An Education, her portrayal of Daisy in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and her supporting role as the put-upon ex-girlfriend of a Greenwich Village folk singer in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis. Mulligan admits that she needs to focus on something more contemporary: “My agent saw Suffragette and said, ‘Darling, you’re lovely in it, but… blue jeans film next.’ ”
Even as she applied to traditional universities, Mulligan remained steadfast in her acting ambitions. Secretly, she wrote another letter, this time to Julian Fellowes, the screenwriter of Gosford Park and, later, creator of Downton Abbey, whom she had met once after he gave a talk at her boarding school. This time, her letter hit the mark. “I said, ‘Mr. Fellowes, you’re the only person in this world I’ve ever met. I’ve been rejected from drama school, and I don’t know what to do!’ ” She pauses for dramatic effect. “And then he invited me to dinner.”
As Fellowes remembers it, he and his wife, Emma, were throwing “a little get-together for aspirants and, as a caprice, invited her. Emma got a real feeling about her, that she was not quite like anyone else.” What came next was a classic tale of right place, right time—Emma heard that Joe Wright was looking for fresh faces for his new Pride & Prejudice and suggested that Mulligan audition. “I want to state that Emma didn’t get Carey the job; Carey got Carey that job,” Fellowes says. “I’m always a little wary of us trying to take credit for her unusualness; she was born unusual.”
Read full Carey Mulligan WSJ Interview here.